GREAT Southern Mental Health patients are benefiting from $8.5 million in federal funding to run the Mental Health portal program.
The funding was awarded to WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) to run the program through Albany’s Amity Health.
Amity Health chief executive officer Robin Surridge said she was pleased Amity Health was able to continue supporting more people in the Great Southern through the pro- vision of this additional health care.
“By providing some early intervention and a greater range of mental health care options, we can make a real difference in people’s health and lives,” Ms Surridge said.
The Mental Health Portal is part of a state-wide rollout of a new model of stepped care, a mode of matching patients with mental health treatment options based on their need, and is delivered in different formats to improve access and equity across WA.
The Great Southern Mental Health Portal will be a point of contact for people who are financially disadvantaged, or for those living in places where there are no other services to access early intervention mental health care services.
This will provide a better range of therapy support options at different levels of intensity.
WAPHA regional manager Lesley Pearson said the new stepped care model fundamentally changed WA’s approach to primary mental health treatment.
“Under the new system, GPs will be more involved in their patients’ care through regular reports indicating their progress,” Ms Pearson said.
“It is designed to ensure vulnerable people can more easily access mental health support at the right level, at the right time, wherever they live in WA.”